Family reeling after identifying victims
Nothing could have prepared him for horrific task, says nephew
THE family of the three Northcliff people who were found murdered and burnt in Centurion have been left reeling after identifying their bodies.
The deceased have been identified as Gregory Naidoo, 57, Melanie Naidoo, 51, and 22-year-old Rakiel Naidoo.
“Our worst nightmare has become real.
“Although the family wanted closure, we were praying that the burnt bodies didn’t belong to our family,” said Fuad Patel, a nephew of the deceased.
Initially, the family members were meant to identify the bodies yesterday, after the victims were found burnt beyond recognition near the Copperleaf Golf Estate early on Monday.
But after seeing the charred remains at the crime scene and with the number corresponding with their missing relatives, the relatives decided to do it on Monday night instead.
“The family couldn’t wait any longer so we went to the mortuary at 11pm on Monday,” Patel explained.
But nothing could have prepared him for what he had to witness, he said.
He described it as a traumatic experience that no family should ever go through.
“I wouldn’t even wish this on my worst enemy,” he said.
The horrific find was made by security personnel, who had gone into the veld to investigate a grass fire.
But on closer inspection they noticed the charred remains of three people and called paramedics and the police.
Paramedics certified the victims dead at the scene.
Police arrived and summoned forensic investigators, who combed the area for clues.
Only a pair of legs were left of the charred remains, the police said.
The three family members were kidnapped on Sunday night, according to Patel.
He said his uncle’s upper-body was still intact and that was how the family could identify him, and therefore the other two.
Patel described his uncle as a loving and brave man.
“He had an infectious smile that couldn’t help but spread, especially when he was trying to win an argument with you.
“He was selfless, willing to give his all to help those he loved,” said Patel.
He said both females – his uncle’s wife and niece – were burnt beyond recognition and only the legs remained on one of the bodies.
But police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Kay Makhubele said they were unaware that the victims had been identified.
“All identification is done through the police and we waited at the mortuary (yesterday) for the family, but they didn’t arrive,” he said.
Police still had to carry out the DNA tests in order to carry out positive identification of the remains, Makhubele pointed out.
He said as far as he was concerned, the matter was still under investigation and that the bodies had not been identified officially.
“We are not quite clear how long the tests will take.”
He appealed to anyone with information to help the police so that they could trace and arrest the suspects.